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Last updated on Wednesday, November 13, 2013
(UNDATED) - The flu season has begun and health officials are warning parents that even the healthiest kids are at risk of dying from influenza.
New research from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that of the 830 U-S children who died from the flu between 2004 and 2012, more than 40 percent did not have any underlying medical condition that would have put them at risk for complications, such as asthma or heart disease.
Pediatrician Dr. Lia Gaggino says the flu can make health spiral downward very quickly, even for the healthiest kids.
The CDC recommends anyone older than six months of age be vaccinated against the flu, if there are no health reasons preventing the immunizations - such as allergies.
Frequent hand washing and sanitizing surfaces can also minimize virus exposure.
Gaggino stresses that while the vaccine can trigger a short-lived immune response causing some fatigue or soreness; there is no way to contract the virus from a flu shot or nasal spray.
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